Brexit referendum: an opportunity for EU energy policy reform?

On June 23, British citizens are going to the polls to decide whether their country should leave or remain in the European Union (EU). As the ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ campaigns still lie neck to neck, the outcome is entirely uncertain, and the so-called “Brexit” is casting a shadow over the European Community. What is even more difficult to predict than the outcome of the referendum are the effects a Brexit would have on the EU and the UK itself. So far, no Member State has withdrawn from the EU, making a Brexit unprecedented, with highly uncertain consequences. Besides the grave economic insecurities, not only for the UK, but also the EU and the global economy, the EU would lose a strong partner in foreign policy. As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Britain acts as a bridging influence between the EU and NATO. Alongside all that, it is clear that a Brexit would have an uncertain – and likely negative – effect on European and UK energy and climate policy.

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June 15, 2016   No Comments

Parliamentarians can revive German Energiewende

Fotolia © JonasGinter

Last week, the German government approved some fundamental amendments to the renewable energy law (the EEG 2016). After the 16 States adopted an overhaul of the famous German Renewable Energy Source Act (also referred to as the German Feed-in Tariff law) in May, the cabinet has now also given the green light. Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel and his colleagues have pointed to a paradigm shift. Indeed, the events mark the beginning of a new phase of the Energiewende. However, contrary to the government, I do not see any reason to applaud. In fact, the EEG 2016 hampers any further renewable energy development in the country. It is the paradigm of slowing down installations; handing back the energy system to the corporate utilities and making sure renewable energy does not become too successful in pushing fossil energy out of the system. …continue reading →

June 13, 2016   No Comments

Renewables Rising – Community Energy Rising

repower-balcombe-kids-waving

Marc Théry is the Energy Manager in Le Mené, a municipality in Brittany, France who can be named substitutional for a movement which is rapidly gaining momentum globally: The Community Energy Movement. As renewable energies unfold their impact locally, it in fact mostly cities and communities investing in renewable sources to ensure that revenues stay in the region. “We want to produce the energy we use and not export energy and buy it back from EDF (French Utility) which is completely crazy as an economic model.” says Marc Théry. With this opinion, he is not alone. …continue reading →

June 1, 2016   No Comments